Running to a race

I did something new! Well actually I did two new things. And I blame Regina for both.

IMG_2903Today was the Frederick Women’s Distance Festival. It’s held annually at the community college. I had participated one year with a friend but hadn’t sense. Regina had mentioned it a few times over the last couple weeks. While decided on the course for my weekend long run and talking to Jesi, I found myself suggesting that I could run the 2.5 miles to the race, participate in the race and then do the rest of my miles.

It should be noted that name of the race is a tad deceiving, at least to those of us who run marathons, the distance for the race is a 5k. I’ll try to stay on topic and not venture off on a tangent about the perception and reality of a name like distance festival.

I literally told myself that the idea was dumb. That it wasn’t worth doing and that I should just do my long run. I blamed the lack of funds for the entry (it was only $35 for day of entry so not an exorbitant fee). I came up with a few different reasons why it wouldn’t work. At the heart of the matter was my concern that I wouldn’t be able to do it. That I wouldn’t be able to make it to the start line in time. That I would pay the entry fee and not get a t-shirt. Because if you don’t get a shirt it didn’t really happen. IMG_2910

But the more I thought about it, the more I kept warming to the idea. I decided to do it. I got up early and decided that I would use the run to the race as practice for making the bridge on time. I used it as a timing exercise of keeping a consistent pace but also not running too fast/hard since it was my long run day.

It was an incredibly successful day. I finished 30th in my age group and 189 out of 417. IfIMG_2906 it weren’t a component of my training I would have run faster and harder but I was enjoying the experience of knowing that I ran to a race and then was going to keep running afterward. Marilyn and I ran together-she placed 5th in her age group. We had a lot of fun together. It was a good training pace for me and a great racing pace for her. The post race party was a great time and I enjoyed watermelon and a cookie. I figured the MCM serves oranges at mile eight so I thought it was practice for that.

For the run as a whole, I averaged 13:08 and did 12.5 miles (instead of the scheduled 12). I did the entire run in 2 hours and 45 minutes. I got home feeling incredibly accomplished and tired.

I have come a long way in my running and training. Being so adventurous as to just run to a race on a whim without much planning was a huge thing for me. To stick with my training miles and push myself harder than I thought I could go makes me incredibly excited for how this years race will go. If I were honest with myself, my training while progressive better through the years, has never been as solid and focused as this year. No matter how this year goes I will know that I have done everything I could do to ensure success. It really is about the journey and the training, not so much the race destination.

Happy running!

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